Potential use of blockchain technologies to build our commons?


#1

Continuing the discussion from Open value networks & business models and Collaborative governance scheme:

@Kirsten (linked to the research project you were talking about on the governance of the commons) and @serenity, but I think it can interest everyone… And I guess at some point we can invite Michel Bawens in the discussion.

I had an amazing talk at the OuiShare Summit with Primavera de Filipi and Matan Field, who co-founded Backfeed (http://backfeed.cc/). "Backfeed develops foundational tools for Decentralized Collaborative Organizations, syncing the spontaneous actions of millions of people to promote an era of collaboration and decentralized value production."
It’s not easy to explain, and a bit technical, and I’m not an expert of blockchain technologies… so before I go further please read the two summary documents they sent me:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_HDFsX1e_2Vc1ZBQTRPeTl0eE0tdUFhR3JMZWlfSmFzQVo0
and
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_HDFsX1e_2VV0FWVWlqWkR3bHY4ZWhXcHhLRFctR1JyT2Ew

They are launching the first version of their protocol this July, and they are looking for organizations to test their beautiful concept… and it seems to me that OFN could be a great candidate, and that what they propose could open new doors to solve some of our challenges and open the path to build a truly decentralized organization.
They are going to send me a description adapted to the OFN case, and I see them again on the 20th July to design a use-case for OFN and see “what it could look like”. Of course we can plan a hangout at the same time if some of you are interested to participate in real time to that conversation.

I’ll try to explain in simple words what could be the potential of this project for OFN.

##A holonic structure

The protocol is based on “holons”,a holon being “something that is simultaneously a whole and a part”. In our case, OFN global would be a holon, each OFN local also, each hub also.

Incentivization tools and reputation as two funding parameters

So basically, they are building a protocol, to enable organizations to grow organically while gathering contributions on a fully open mode. To make an analogy, they are applying the model of open source software to organizations: a community gathers around a project, people start contributing because they believe in the project, and at some point, given the rule we decide, the contributors can be retributed with a complementary currency (=tokens) issued by the community itself. The protocol also includes a “reputation” parameter, that every contributor will build both by its contributions, and its capacity to evaluate fairly others’contributions.
So there are basically two parameters: incentivization (give tokens to contributors) and reputation.
If at some point the organization goes in a direction that some members of the community don’t agree, they can “fork” the organization.
It’s very abstract, of course… but I’ll explain now how concretly we could use it.

How it can support OFN organization design and development

We are at a stage of the development where we need lots of contributions (from developers, community builders, etc.) but we don’t have money to pay the people. But we believe of the future value of the project, we believe its gonna be very useful for the communities all over the world. While using backfeed, we could “reward” the contribution with “tokens”, the internal complementary currency we will issue ourselves and that can be used only within the community. When someone buy food through a hub, they actually buy tokens and use the tokens to buy to the hubs. The hubs keep some tokens (its markup) and pay the suppliers in tokens. The hubs and suppliers can of course then convert the tokens in the local currency whenever they want. So basically we become our own central bank. The interesting thing is that everyone buy food, so its a good point for the “liquidity” of the tokens. So for example, a producer who has been paid can of course convert its tokens in the local official currency, but he can also use them to buy some other products in the system. Liquidity is of course a challenge, as we have more tokens than “official money” in circulation. But there are ways to build a well-functionning model (I have not yet fully understood everything, I will update the post when I understand better)
The very interesting thing is that appart from that question of contribution/retribution, we can also define rules to operate a fully decentralize governance of the project. Every contributor has a “reputation” in the system, and the more they gain in reputation, the more their voice coin in the decision making process of their “holon”. That prevent the system to be ruled by newcomers, and ensure that the organization grows around shared values.

So basically, that “protocol” takes into account both the governance and the economic model, by using an internal system of “value accounting”.

I am very careful about the fact that we don’t go in a system where every contribution will be counted, to preserve that natural willingness to give and I don’t want to live in a world where everything is counted. But it seems that any model can be designed in this protocol, and Primavera really shared my “humanistic” concerns. So let’s see… but it seems super exciting just to see how this new blockchain technology can help more broadly in building decentralized organizations for the common good.

##Examples
To see an example of the first organization that will adopt backfeed, look at La’Zooz (http://lazooz.org/). OuiShare is also willing to experiment it at a project level. If at some point we are interested we could experiment at a hub level.


#2

This gets me excited! (I actually did a talk on this concept a year or two ago with Open Food Network as an example).

I have little ideas on how this might work practically, but it’s interesting to think about how to link our internal currency to external currencies down the road (eg. something like AirBnB, who might source local food for their breakfast).


#3

I get excited about these ideas (and heard a talk from Primavera the year before at ouishare - was extremely impressed, she stuck in both @serenity and my minds as ‘one to watch’!) I can’t help also being the slightly overworked one wondering if it’s a level of complexity greater than what we need or are ready for.

As a human in the world, I’m very interested in joining conversation on the 20th and understanding more about this and where it’s going in general, but as ofn person I’m a little skeptical re. our use of it in short-term - depends on time / effort / energy others have to put into it, think best I keep my focus on ofn core functionality etc (languages, standing orders etc vs internal currencies, just for now :wink:


#4

It good to hear you are excited about the idea, so do I, even if I share your concern @Kirsten. It’s important to stay connected to the priorities :slight_smile: I’m personnaly super passionate about the subject as I’m also getting involved in building the governance of OuiShare, and that’s impressive to see the similarities, so I see the potential, on a long run, of this new way of thinking organizations. All experimentations can “nourish” one another, like what we are going to experiment in OuiShare, it can be interesting to see how this could be applied to OFN, etc. The use case of La’Zooz is also pretty interesting to follow.
So let’s see if/how using those kind of technologies can be envisioned in the context of OFN, and from then, we will see if we want to experiment, and if yes it doesn’t have to be right now also. And the experimentation could be only on one hub, we don’ t have to disturb the whole organization at once, we can experiment on a very limited area. I even think it could be possible to get research funds for those kind of experimentations, and maybe we could work with Michel Bawens on the subject :wink: Maybe that could be part of the research project you wanted to submit on the “governance of the commons” @Kirsten?
I see with Primavera about the time, but I guess we’ll meet in the morning Paris time, so that would make after 16 for you in Australia. I also invited @sylvain to participate, he is skeptical about the maturity of the technology, so that would be interesting to have him around also :wink:


#5

Good to know @eric! We are going to design how it could look like and work for OFN, I hope it will give us a more precise idea about how it could work practically :wink: And I’m sure your feedbacks and inputs will be precious as you are already into the subject :wink:


#6

To clarfiy my thinking, I’m convinced that in the future it will be both simple and interesting for communities like OFN to have their own currency. I just don’t see it happening any time soon. I’m wondering if the blockchain as it is proposed today is the right technical solution, but I haven’t studied it enough so it could be the case. But even more important, I think the environment is not ready yet, in terms of user acceptance, legal environment, UX, and tools integration. I think it is still a risk to scare users, to face strong legal issues, or even to manipulate economics we don’t understand.

So my humble opinion right now is to keep looking at what’s going on, keep studying it to understand the impact, and to wait until I feel confident with it. Maybe I’m too conservative.


#7

This is super exciting and in my humble opinion it is imperative to look a this with urgency in order to future proof OFN. The centralised model is fast becoming redundant and will be replaced by blockchain based contracting, currency and governance in the near future.

I haven’t read the documents from @MyriamBoure yet but have high level understanding of blockchain, bitcoin2.0 and sidechains which this concept will probably be based on.

From my point of view OFN is ideologically aligned with the emerging P2P economy and moving it onto the blockchain would bring the technology in line with the ideology.


#8

OK I just went through the backfeed documentation and checked the company web site.

While I am all for decentralisation and migration to the blockchain, I can not support such an initiative if backfeed is chosen as the platform. Backfeed is an Israeli company. Israel has an atrocious human rights record and as a member of the BDS movement I will not voluntarily support any company which generates revenue directly or indirectly for the racist supremacist regime of Israel.

As far as I can tell from the documentation, their business model is a thinly veiled attempt at cornering a sector of the emerging P2P economy by providing services (a protocol layer) to interact with existing DCO platforms such as Counterparty and while it will no doubt be a valuable service, I am confident that affordable, reliable and ideologically aligned alternatives will emerge within months to occupy this niche.

This technology is evolving at breakneck speed and I am of the opinion that it would be wise to wait and see what alternatives emerge before committing.


#9

Thank you @lawrence for this feedback :slight_smile: I share your concerns about Backfeed, mainly because not everything is clear for the moment for me, that is why I want to go a bit deeper in the discussion, to really fully understand what they propose, and their organization, business model, etc.
I am personaly a bit worried especially by the fact that they have raised money from private investors to kickstart their project. Even if they say they will put their own organization on the blockchain. If we want to use their technology, they will be considered as “contributors” to OFN, so they will receive tokens from our side. If we were among pilote organizations for them, we would also receive tokens from them. I’m worried about that because I think we need at some point to have really free protocols we can use, like in the open source software. And I’m also worried about the resilience of the system: what happens if we want to get out of Backfeed? And I’m also worried about the “stability” of our internal currency, and the liquidity/trust around it… so I still have lots of questions!
As for the company being Isreali, I also share your discomfort Lawrence, and I can hear that you feel disgusted and outraged by the Isreali State’s behaviour. But I want to make the difference between the People and the States, and I think we shouldn’t discriminate people/projects based on their nationality :slight_smile:
What I propose is just to keep the discussion open, and that would be awesome Lawrence if you would like to be part of it, as you seem pretty cultivated about all those open value network & DCO things. Let’s see what comes out of the discussion, and if we think their value proposition is interesting, it will always be possible to share your discomfort Lawrence regarding the fact of the company being based in Israel :wink:

@Kirsten, if it’s fine with you, I suggest that on the 20th July we just discuss offline Primavera, Sylvain, and me, and we share with you a more visual explanation of their value proposition. I am afraid it won’t be practical to work on a hangout while drawing on a paper offline, and be at the same time offline and online… Don’t you think?
And from then we plan a google hangout with Primavera and Matan later in the week, or the week after, that anyone from the community can join, where they can explain to all of us what is their value proposition, and we can ask all our questions and have an open discussion to enable us to understand if those new technologies could be of any use for OFN, and serve our project or not, now or later :slight_smile:

Does it sound good?


#10

That sounds like a plan @Myriam! (that’s on behalf of @Kirsten too!) I also geek out on this sort of discussion and am really interested in the potential of this sort of technology to support distributed collaboration. A few thoughts:

  1. As you say I think one of the most important considerations is “preserving the willingness to give” i.e not creating disincentives to contribute without expectation of recompense.
  2. It needs to be super easy to use and understand or it simply won’t be used. Here I think your suggestion Myriam of a very small and contained experiment is a good idea.
  3. The most important thinking is the “set of rules for distribution of economic value”. Setting these principles is important whether or not we adopt a particular tech tool or not. In an earlier paper of Primavera’s (that I now can’t seem to find) and also in reflecting on Enspiral’s approach, I think its important to first define the boundaries of the community (who the community(ies) is made up of and on what basis).

My hunch is that understanding Graeber’s ideas about different patterns of relations (communal; exchange; hierarchy) might be useful in making sure we “preserve willingness to give” http://openanthcoop.net/press/2010/11/17/on-the-moral-grounds-of-economic-relations/

Also that Enspiral’s experience might be useful in thinking through governance options, particularly understanding the interplay of the “cultural operating systems” and digital tools (and importance of both). See Alanna Krause:

Looking forward to hearing what you come up with on the 20th!


#11

and this might be interesting update for those thinking about such things.

@lawrence - I agree wholeheartedly with your vehement response re. Israeli company. Will forward you and @MyriamBoure email chain re. interest in setting up a ‘middle east’ ofn . . which I think needs to be handled with a great deal of care, and excellent opportunity for exploring what distributed decision-making looks like

agile. agile. agile :smile:


#13

Thank you so much @Tal for this thorough answer!
@MyriamBoure and I had a meeting this morning with your colleagues Primavera and Phillip here in Paris, which resulted in a fascinating discussion, from which we learned a lot and in which we went into a lot of detail on the potential use of your technology for OFN. But the discussion also raised a lot of questions about the level of Backfeed’s adaptation to non-profit organisations like ours with ideals of creating real alternatives to the current economic system, on a very profound level. I have the feeling that @MyriamBoure will explain this a lot better, so I’ll leave that to her :smile:

We also talked about the issue raised by @lawrence. I think it’s important to highlight again that Lawrence does not wish to work with any company that pays taxes to the Israeli government (for personal reasons and a specific application of the BDS methods). He did not judge any individual by their nationality, race or religion.
I think we all realise that this is a tricky issue. I have myself lived in the Middle East for 6 years and helped in organising meetings across many of its borders. For now I think what we can say is that some of us at OFN are talking to very inspiring human beings at the company Backfeed, that are doing ambitious and far-sighted work on developing new organisational and economic models. Whether their technology makes sense for us remains to be seen and if it does, it will be for all of us to decide whether or not to apply it and I’d say let’s cross that bridge when and if we get to it.


#14

Thanks for the feedback @Selmo.

I am very happy to hear that @MyriamBoure and yourself are getting up to speed with the concepts underlying Bitcoin 2.0 and it’s potential as a catalyst to end the exploitation of humanity and our planet by corporations and profiteers of all descriptions. In my opinion the emergence of the collaborative commons is inextricably linked with the rising tide of blockchain based technology and as such we should be actively assimilating as much information as possible in order to be able to make informed decisions and maintain our alignment with the core values inherent in OFN.

I share @MyriamBoure 's reservations about aligning ourselves with a profit driven corporation albeit one which purports to be altruistically focussed. A corporation exists for one reason only. To first and foremost generate a profit for it’s shareholders. While we have been conditioned, educated and convinced to deem this acceptable, we can no longer claim ignorance of the fact that profiteering is largely to blame for the state our planet and society currently finds itself in. Profit, by its very definition, implies an advantageous benefit. For one party to have an advantage, the other has to be at a disadvantage, an unacceptable dynamic by any definition of a peer to peer or collaborative economy.

This is by no means my only reservation though and I feel it would be appropriate to put it all on the table. Apologies in advance for what is no doubt about to turn into a long and tedious diatribe. As @Tal rightly pointed out, this is all very new and revolutionary and I am open to being corrected on any of the statements I make as it is all the result of my own research and interpretations and by no means authoritative.

Herewith then my thoughts on @Tal’s response.

My position on contributing in any way towards the Israeli regime is very clear and remains unchanged. I have stated the following in an email to certain group members before but feel it is worth repeating here in the interest of establishing the baseline from which I operate. As a white South African who grew up during Apartheid, I am no stranger to being judged based on your nationality and ethnicity regardless of your personal convictions with regards to the actions of the government people consider to be yours by virtue of the accident of your birth. I have sympathy and personal empathy with free thinking individuals trapped under despotic regimes. A great potential transformative power of humanity lies in our individuality and our ability to align ourselves with ideals and values separate to that of our regime, culture or nationality and to form allegiances and communities with resonant humans across these divides by simply distancing ourselves from that which we find abhorrent and disagreeable, especially the actions of the governments which claim us as their own.
That @Tal chose not to do this but instead opted to subtly imply bigotry and immorality on my behalf is extremely revealing and tells me all I need to know.

The above notwithstanding, I strive keep an open mind and as such considered the various points and the Backfeed value proposition as a whole.

From my perspective, none of the ideas, features or concepts put forward by Backfeed are in any way original, unique or exclusive to Backfeed. In fact the tokens for their their flagship project Lazooz are issued, not on Backfeed technology, but on Counterparty. As far as I can tell there is no Backfeed technology in production yet and the Backfeed model appears to be an amalgamation of principles inherent in Bitcoin 2.0 and concepts and terms in use by existing platforms and organisations using Bitcoin 2.0.

https://counterpartychain.io/asset/LAZOOZ

Decentralised governance, "ability to incorporate human input into a resilient evaluating scheme ", issuance of currency backed by generative rather than extractive capital, "ability to shift value and influence in a smart manner between all collaborators ", P2P derivatives, trustless escrow, etc - all are concepts which are inherent in Bitcoin2.0 and already leveraged by the Counterparty platform. The term Decentralised Collaborative Organisation (DCO) which is freely thrown around on the Backfeed web site for example, was coined by Swarm.
The issues which @sylvain raised, ie UX legality etc are being addressed in an open source collaborative manner by the Counterparty community as well as by the Swarm community.

Backfeed appears to be drawing freely on this mashlab of ideas and technology and, while stopping short of outright claiming it as it’s own, certainly leaves the layman with that impression. I find this kind of subtle manipulation, insinuation and deception disturbing to say the least.

What we are witnessing is the emergence of a distributed technology tsunami which will engulf the current corporate monoliths and hierarchies and bring about a true humanistic and life-centric economy focused on the creation of abundance . The profiteers are well aware of this and are frantically scrambling to gain favourable position in order to monetise the collaborative economy. Many banks and other financial cartels are investing in blockchain technology because, from the traditional profiteers perspective, the goal is to obtain a monopoly over a commodity and to leverage the monopoly to maximise profit so they are applying old thinking by attempting to build a better mousetrap. This is doomed to fail though for reasons too many to expound on here, suffice to say that monoliths are essentially unnatural and by extension unsustainable. I am not concerned about this dying breed of profiteer as they are dinosaurs and incapable of adapting to a new paradigm.

What does concern me are those who are managing to mutate sufficiently, not only to adapt to a new paradigm but, true to the governing principal of the species, to identify niches within that new paradigm where it can attach itself and continue leaching off humanity’s energy while maintaining a facade of benevolence and service.

One such a niche traditionally occupied by profiteers would be currency - think central banking - and it seems that the race is on to be the issuer of the distributed currency of the collaborative economy. Of course the old centralised model will fail in a distributed economy so the profiteer will create distributed platforms on which to attempt to gain monopoly over the issuance of as many currencies as possible. Anybody with a couple of fractions of Bitcoin and 5 minutes of spare time can issue a currency these days though so the focus of the profiteer would be on projects that will deliver high usage of the currency as that is what will dictate demand of the tokens and ultimately grow their value for initial investors to capitalise on. OFN most certainly qualifies as such a potential high usage, high value project as we will see hundreds of thousands of transactions facilitated through OFN globally in future. Whomever gets to issue the currency for those transactions and manages to retain a stake in the venture in the form of tokens will effectively gain tremendous value in return for very little effort, essentially leaching off the efforts of productive members by virtue of “ownership” of tokens. This is not the true reciprocity which is required for an open value network to be truly open and fair.

The business model I described above is what will look attractive to investors of seed money into ventures such as Backfeed and others which will no doubt follow and while it is true that the open source / Collaborative / communal platforms will derive income using a similar model, consider for a moment that their agenda is not dictated by investors profit motive and that developers are inputting actual sweat equity in return for tokens rather than contributing fiat currency on which they hope to make a return at the expense of other peoples energy.

My advice to the group would be to carry on as we are doing. Focus on current issues in terms of functionality and deployment. There is no need to rush or feel pressured. We will be able to migrate to a distributed application hosting model in future - Etherium is about to launch - and if we decide to issue OFN tokens as a medium of exchange and decentralised governance, (which I think we should) we know that there are options available which are more resonant with the core OFN values and principles.


#15

Thank you @Tal for your contribution, and your effort to try to make it clearer :wink: It’s true it’s not trivial to understand, but for me that is important we take the time to do so, as it’s not a trivial engagement :wink: So we have started doing so by meeting Primavera and Philippe on Monday.
I totally share the values you mentionned, and I think all of us do. There is one thing that I want to make clear: the criticism voiced, especially by @lawrence were not on the people, as he made it clear in his last post, and who for knowing some of them (Primavera, Matan, Philippe… are awesome) :slight_smile: It was about the fact of the company being registered in Israel and whose tax would be used to potentially buy arms and kill Palestinians… And I read in your answer @Tal that this was not clear. Maybe you felt hurt by the way it was voiced, but it was not adressed against the people…

In that discussion, I feel very uncomfortable and sad when reading words that I personnaly find violent, and I would really appreciate if we could all try to understand each other instead of seeing what oppose us, or judging each other, or thinking on behalf of each others. I think there is here lots of misunderstandings, which is sad as we are all defending the same values.
When we met Philippe and Primavera yesterday, they were really sad and chocked too by the way opinions had been expressed (not by the opinions themselves, which of course has the right to be expressed, and are relevant…). Written language is not the best one to conduct this kind of debate… so please don’t assume that other people where thinking this or that, and please ask to clarify points that are not clear :wink:

@lawrence I understand that you already have investigated a lot those subjects, and Backfeed documentation online is very light, so it’s hard to understand what they are doing different without talking to them… which is what we did on Monday with @Selmo.
After the meeting we had yesterday, and for which I am writting a summary document (I take time to do something clear and understandable, but I’ll share this in the coming days ;-)), we understood one thing very clearly during that meeting: Backfeed “company” is different from Backfeed “protocol”. As a company, Backfeed wants to be a DCO, like La’Zooz or any other DCO. But the protocol they are building, and that they are going to use for themselves to deploy as a DCO, will be fully open-source, in the full sense of the term, so free to use, share, modify, copy, etc. I think our lack of understanding simply came from the lack of information available on Backfeed’s website. So let’s stick in our discussion to the Backfeed protocol.

We are going to share a document in the coming days describing the protocol they are working on, and they really, with their heart, want this free and open-source protocol to support non-profit global decentralized initiatives, as they also want to contribute to a more meaningful world, as we all do here. After our discussion it seems their protocol is not yet adapted to a global non-profit project like our, but we have agreed at the end of the meeting to keep working together and see how it could be transformed to serve global non-profit projects.

But I’m very sad @lawrence when I read

before we had the chance to share with you what Backfeed protocol is about more concretely, and I would love if you could wait for us to do so and try to understand what innovation they bring in (as they are not at all doing what Counterparty is doing…), and then give an opinion about it, as I think your knowledge about the subject can be very useful.

@Selmo and I were really so passionate about how this protocol could really, if thought differently as it is today (we willl explain in the document), make a difference, especially if we think tokens in term of “time” (as the only think we all have to exchange is our time…) and use the blockchain to build a global time-bank and back our DCO on it for example… anyway, for me all that discussion has just started, and needs to be conducted over months. So let’s keep the discussion, and our hearts, open :slight_smile:


#16

Thanks @Myriam and sorry if I made you feel sad - it really was not my intention :frowning:
Perhaps you misunderstood my words. In clarification, I remain open to all information and am merely urging caution before committing. I look forward to hearing more about the backfeed protocol in order to evaluate it properly.

I do feel the need to point out though that making something open source/free does not necessarily automatically align it with the principles of peer to peer or collaborative economy. For example, Google makes free search engines, storage and email available but monetises your private information through directed advertising. Profiteers who invest seed money into a private company do so for one reason only and that is to see a monetary return on their investment and I do feel we need to be clear on how the creators of the protocol intend to meet their obligations to their investors as ultimately it will be our users who pay those dividends in some form or another.

I realise my words and convictions are rather strong but humanity is in a unique position at the moment where we have the potential to recreate the economy using technology to ensure fair and equitable exchange for ALL humans and we should really guard against making the same mistakes from the past whereby we allowed certain humans to exploit the work of others by embedding themselves at critical points in our economical systems and leaching off the energy of the rest. I tend to err on the side of caution and construct worst case scenarios as a means of planning against them.

I actually really like to be proven wrong on these issues so really, I remain open :slight_smile:


#17

Hi again everyone.

I had a nice chat with @MyriamBoure last evening during which she elaborated on her meeting with Primavera et all and shared some more of her understanding of the Backfeed business model as well as her impression of the people who make up the company. Thanks Myriam. I then spent the night pondering this situation and wrestling with the morality of it all as it pertains to my principles by which I govern my own life. I concluded the following:

I have sympathy for @Tal & Primavera’s feelings of hurt upon hearing about my refusal to be in any way connected to an Israeli company. I clearly recall the shock I felt the first time I encountered disgust at my nationality as a South African while travelling abroad. This was aimed at me personally simply for being born where and as I was and it caused me to reflect deeply on issues of nationality, race and religion to the point where I reject all 3 concepts altogether. Nationality is an artificial construct, race is a continuum, and religion is a control mechanism. If we wish to be free and sovereign humans, we have to embrace our human identity first and foremost and reject any imposition of divisive constructs and agendas upon our humanity. All 3 the above concepts are inherently exclusive and therefore embraced at the cost of imposing a barrier between yourself and other humans.

Non violence also means not allowing violence to be done to self or others and, if need be, to use violence in defence of self or others and if my words seem violent, please see them within that context.

While I appreciate the idealistic vision which individuals at Backfeed hold as explained to me by Myriam, we have to consider idealism as a holistic principle. One can’t set out to change the world for the better if you haven’t yet swept in front of your own door.

The undeniable fact of the matter is that Israel is an illegal settler state following a fundamentally racist ideology and was built on land that was ethnically cleansed through the ongoing genocide, terrorisation, dehumanisation and intimidation of the indigenous population and while it certainly isn’t the only country in history to be founded on such atrocities, it is the only one in which it is ongoing, publicly denied and, when exposed, even justified. This is hardly the forum for going into specifics of the atrocities but they are many. I acknowledge that not all Israelis condone or are directly responsible for these atrocities but, as an Israeli who purports to stand in opposition to your government’s actions yet chooses to live there, base your company there and pay taxes to the state, the onus is on you to absolve yourself and publicise your position with regards to the state of Israel. Many Israelis have done this and a reluctance to do so is indicative of a mindset which, consciously or subconsciously, believes to some extent that the violence against the indigenous people of Palestine is at some level justified and perhaps even righteous.

For me to be part of this conversation then, I am afraid I have to impose the condition that Backfeed states what their position is with regards to the state of Israel, Palestinian refugees right of return and the occupation. I don’t think this is unreasonable as it will either remove the barriers or confirm that they are valid (I really hope this doesn’t turn out to be the case).

I apologise to other members of the forum for whom my stance may cause dissonance but the fundamental freedom and equality of all humans is a non-negotiable baseline and something I am not prepared to compromise on. The only way that an individual can justify the Palestinian genocide is if that individual holds a supremacist view in which the indigenous people of Palestine are not seen as equal brothers and sisters and, in the same way that I rejected my Afrikaner culture and racist family members, I will reject a relationship of any sorts with any individual who consciously harbours such thoughts as well as any individual who is made aware of his/her subconscious thoughts in this regard and is not willing to examine and improve on it. The flipside of that coin is that I will fully embrace any individual who overcomes the conditioning and joins humanity as a realised human, not as a member of a subset to which he/she is first and foremost aligned.

I realise this seems like a storm in a teacup from certain perspectives. The deception and misinformation surrounding the Palestinian situation is incredible. So much so that many Israelis are not even aware of the truth and most foreigners can’t even begin to fathom it but to those who have researched the issue it is apparent that the Israeli regime is the single biggest threat to world peace in existence today and should be resisted at all costs and at all levels.

I trust that Backfeed will understand my position and would be much obliged if I am indulged and my condition is met as I truly would like to get back on focusing on the real issue of how to move OFN to the blockchain.

Peace out.

Lawrence


#18

Summary perspective from Brett Scott re blockchain technology use re governance. For info. (Confession: I have only scanned this!!)

Abstract: “The decentralized digital currency Bitcoin—and its underlying “blockchain” technology—has created much excitement in the technology community, but its potential for building truly empowering social and solidarity-based finance has yet to be tested. This paper provides a primer on the basics of Bitcoin and discusses the existent narratives about the technology’s potential to facilitate remittances, financial inclusion, cooperative structures and even micro-insurance systems. It also flags up potential points of concern and conflict; such as the tech-from-above “solutionism” and conservative libertarian political dynamics of some of the technology start-up community that surrounds Bitcoin. As a way of contrast the paper considers “blockchain 2.0” technologies with more overtly communitarian ideals and their potential for creating “cooperation at scale”. It concludes with suggestions for future research.”

http://p2pfoundation.net/How_Can_Cryptocurrency_and_Blockchain_Technology_Play_a_Role_in_Building_Social_and_Solidarity_Finance